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I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical **** (4 stars)

I have often pondered that question and I’m sure the capacity audience at the Daisy in Underbelly have said the same. How do I know? Well every inner quip and phrase from Musical theatre were met with knowingly approval. That helps but even the most obsessed theatre fan would enjoy the unfolding sketches on offer in this revue already a West End Wilma approved show. Each song is like a standard – spoken and sung at times in the Gilbert & Sullivan or Flanders & Swann style. There were times when there were more words per line that either. After the scene setting intro song, The Audition comes next and every imaginable scenario is explored and accurately delivered. The tiny stage must hav

Confetti & Chaos **** (4 stars)

The first sign of the category of ‘interactive theatre’ can put off the most confident of Festival fans but this is not Al Murray Pub Landlord, Frankie Boyle or even Jason Bryne taking the mince out of the front row. This immersive theatre is more dimensional as we are the guests at Stacey’s wedding. You have to be from the bride’s side as the groom’s family were not invited and that is just one sub-plot in this Imagination Workshop production of which there are many. These experienced four actors carry it beautifully as they fully change roles and costumes skillfully and believably as the fast pace continues. I saw a similar production in Las Vegas. Stacey is the lovely bride played by N

being Frank About Sinatra **** (4 stars)

Written and performed by Tony Delicata of Italian descent we would expect he would know about the Mafia, the Mob and even the Sinatra connections. It turns out he does, and this unique show is both informative and entertaining. Tony has been associated with a few Sinatra Fringe shows of course beginning with his Sinatra: The Final Curtain sell out production in 2013 & 2014 then Dean Martin Christmas Show (featuring Frank) for two years after that. Being Frank About Sinatra is very different to these though being a solo show for starters and peppered throughout with songs and visuals. This is the Sinatra story from the dark side revealing something for everyone even the diehard fans and th

The Drowsy Chaperone **** (4 stars)

A well- known story can always bring audiences to the Fringe. This was no exception. Our first character known simply as “Man in Chair”, he addresses the audience, eager to share one of his favourites. In this case it is the fictional 1928 Broadway hit, The Drowsy Chaperone. Settling into his armchair to listen, the musical quite literally bursts to life in his apartment. The musical itself concerns the wedding of Broadway star Janet Van De Graaf to the handsome Robert Martin. With Van De Graaf declaring she is willing to give up stardom for love. Although the wedding is derailed to save his Follies in which she stars. Add a couple of gangsters looking to ensure their boss’ investment in Fel

Acoustic Eagles * (1 star)

I was assuming when going to this event, that I would be seeing and listening to 4 or 5 guys performing classic hits from the Eagles. Instead I am disappointed with a married couple murdering hits I have always liked. Although Mrs Boyd had a very strong voice, her husband Angus was frequently out of tune. They did manage a reasonable cover of Lying Eyes. They attempted to cover Hotel California but, this is too good a track for an amateur couple to attempt. He did try and get the audience to sing along, which was probably to drown his out. This was only on for 1 night and filled a 100 seat room. They have other evenings including covers of hits from Sting, Bowie, The Beatles and Queen. I can

Cruel Intentions: The 90’s Musical (****4 stars)

I vaguely remember the movie some years ago and I did hear this was to become a musical and most unusual then to see this as a Fringe production and not a theatre space – actually the Spiegeltent Palais Du Variete at Assembly Square Gardens. With no ‘name’ stars announced that would warrant a touring UK production the quality stamp here was the producer – Bill Kenwright Ltd and the hint that this was a try out prior to a West End production. That certainly helped sales and the buzz and the fact that the show had a degree of success in the US as an Off-Broadway production in 2017. But this is Fringe 2019 with a typical 10 minute ‘get in’ time and includes set, musicians and radio mics. To f

FlamencoNova *** (3 stars)

FlamencoNova produced by Tuflamenco at theSpace Triplex is a genuine excursion into the world of Flamenco and Bossa Nova. In the caldron that is Triplex in Hill Place (British Theatre Guide called it the hottest venue at the Fringe) to a degree added to the atmosphere of what is a great introduction to the Brazilian culture. With singers Sergio Prazeres, Danielo Olivera and Inmaculada Montero we capture the intensity of expression of the language and range and at times flamenco dancer Mayte Beltran adds to the visuals on a tiny stage but dominating the scene. The overall effect is stunning with multi-guitarists strumming, picking and mesmerising with hands a blur. Additional sax by Nick Gou

The National Trust Fan Club – Gilded Balloon at the Museum (**** 4 Star)

This is about Helen Wood's quest to visit every National Trust property and become the NT's biggest superfan. We are told from Helen about her parents bringing her up visiting NT properties and how she decided to set herself a challenge to visit 100 properties in a short space of time. This show would be a massive attraction to NT members or non- NT members, who have discovered that most of their properties close down for the winter, volunteers who frequently jump at you in the rooms you are visiting, or the mentioning of Cream Teas. Helen has also included mentions about items for sale in their gift-shops and keeping us up to date with the properties she has managed to visit but, they are c

Ciaran Dowd – Padre Rodolfo (*** 3 Star)

Ciaran Dowd was successful last year in winning the comedy award for Best Newcomer 2018 for his show Don Rodolfo. This year is his follow-up, Padre Rodolfo. This story Don has stopped being the guy who put’s “ass” into “assassin” and has now found God. We are told how he arrived at this stage in life and how the Pope called him to Rome to attend a seminary. We see how he was tested by a nun who was sent to teach him ways of the cloth. Beelzebub himself rears his head, Padre Rodolfo – sometimes father, often Daddy – must summon his faith to cast the dark lord into the shadow realm. Dowd gives a narrative, who is so laid-back that he forgets his lines several times. The mentions of religion in

Keith Moon - The Real Me **** 4 stars

Keith Moon was the legendary drummer of rock band The Who and as with all legends died tragically young due to his excesses. While similar tales across the Fringe like Amy Winehouse and Eva Cassidy tell biographic stories writer and performer Mick Berry (now that is a pop star name) has taken a different approach. This is no tale of the 60’s pop world, this is a show and performance with live drumming for all to hear. Mick has taken his show across the US and returns to the Fringe triumphant. His likeness to Moony is uncanny, he is fit and, can mimic the voice and his drumming is convincing too. Not as manic as we remember Keith Moon but good enough to drum over classic backing tracks li

Rock Idle (** 2 Star)

Kingdom Theatre Company are premiering this show which tells us about a diary from a “rock star” Marshall Stax. During this story, we are told about famous names who Marshall has come across in the music business and his involvement he has had with those stars. The show is led by vocalist Linton Osborne, who was a member of the Scottish rock band Nazareth, who had top 40 hits including My White Bicycle and Gone Dead Train in the 1970’s. The show also is accompanied with Craig Dunlop on guitar. We hear music from the very early 60’s by artists in those days to rock music in the 70’s. Linton does hard to get the audience involved in the show and that does help grab people’s attention. The show

Tea With Mr Jenner’s *****5 stars

Jenner’s store in Edinburgh is an institution. It still seems lavish and prestigious today standing out like a Harrod’s among mass production outlets. An insight into the story behind Scotland’s oldest department store is back at the Fringe this year as Tea With Mr Jenner invites us to an audience with Mr Jenner, played by Sandy Queenan in store, in character and live in the shop itself. Limited to just 10 round the table in the original boardroom on the fourth floor we gain an insight to what has gone before. So here we are in the wood panelled boardroom of this iconic institution, a cherished setting and a rarity for a Fringe event more used to tents, bunkers and warm attics You see Cha

Whose Line Is It Anyway? - Live at the Fringe (****4 Star)

A great tv show returns to the Fringe after a sell out run in 2017. The show just as we probably all remember is hosted by Clive Anderson and many legends of improv comedy work out for an hour at full pace. The show will feature Marcus Brigstocke and Phill Jupitus, alongside original improv legends, as part of its Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019 line-up. Accompanied on the piano by multi-instrumentalist Kirsty Newton It tends to split into quick fire games of 2 (eg every answer must be a question ) or 4 (eg guests at a dinner party) but the best part was the 2 songs made up on the spot about the audience member brought on stage and the big finale about the maths teacher from Forfar who wanted

Nigel Ng – Culture Shocked (** 2 Star)

Nigel Ng takes you through his life in the UK as a Malaysian immigrant. He tells about subjects that mean a lot to him both big and small from “how to retain one’s cultural identity when in a foreign land ?” to “is Wagamama actually Asian ?” Having seen a few minutes of Nigel on the press day of the Pleasance, I was enthusiastic to see his full show. I was extremely disappointed with this full show. Although during his hour, he told the previous jokes that I had heard from him and new to the crowd, that would be the only attraction to the show. I felt that Nigel was mostly picking at members of the audience and frequently kept going back to these people to pad out his show. His show is at th

Mark Nelson - Brexit Wounds *****(5 Star)

Mark returns to the Fringe for 2019 many years now since winning the inaugural Scottish Comedian of the Year Award in 2006, just after his first ever open-spot. Mark, host of BBC Radio’s smash-hit The Good, the bad and the Unexpected. This time Mark returns with his new show entitled Brexit Wounds. If you are not into Politics, don’t let the title sway you from going to see the show. Although Mark does start and end the show with his feelings on how the whole matter seems to be completely taking over the entire news bulletins and affecting our lives. We are generally asked how we voted “leave” or “remain”. Mark wants to know if anyone out with the UK is in the audience and what those members

Something About Simon – The Paul Simon Story ****(4 star)

Gary Edward Jones, although a singer songwriter in his own right decided that after hearing his Dad playing the music of Paul Simon and then becoming a fan himself, he has brought this show to the Fringe. Gary does not just recite the music but pieces it well as he also tells the story of Paul Simon. The show reminds us of the music of “Tom and Jerry” and the then success of Simon and Garfunkel. From there Gary takes us forward to successful tracks including “Graceland”. I thought the excellent renditions of the Boxer and Homeward Bound certainly proved that this was worth coming to watch and listen. We are also possibly learning, through the show what a turbulent life Paul Simon underwent

Billy Joel Piano Man 4 stars

I always think that a tribute to singer/songwriter Billy Joel must be a massive struggle but, this time there was not a problem here. This energetic five- piece band led by talented piano-vocalist and musical director Joe Revell began the crowd singing one of Joel’s classic hits “My Life” which got the audience tapping their feet and starting to sing-along. A large compilation of tracks were performed from Joel’s albums from the seventies and eighties. I feel a very good cover of “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” was performed. Although we are not told a story about the songs and there is very little chat with the audience, this band did prove their talent. Supporting Revell were 4 other t